Ainscough Crane Hire

Activity
Crane hire
Acquired
Dec 1993
Realised
Dec 1996
Sector
Business Services

In December 1993 Cinven’s investors provided equity funding to Ainscough Crane Hire, a family controlled business that owned and hired out mobile cranes and lifting gear. The company was well established, profitable and one of the two largest in the UK crane hire market. The investment was to enable the company to roll out its services across a wider geography and take advantage of its strong market position.

Strategy
The equipment hire industry was very fragmented and so offered a clear opportunity for consolidation. The market background indicated a general move among major industrial and construction sector users of mobile cranes to reduce their own fleets in favour of outsourcing their requirements to third party providers. Cinven believed that these and other developments in the industry would provide the impetus to increase the sales and profit of the business.

Outcome
With Cinven’s investment, Ainscough was able to expand the company’s coverage of the UK market through strategies that included acquisition. Sales grew strongly, more than doubling in the space of four years. In December 1996 the other shareholders agreed to buy back Cinven’s stake in the business.

Multiple returned on investment: 1.9x